Here are my notes for the cheap 2002 Marquis Phillips. All we're bought for $12 from the Wine Library.
Marquis Phillips- Shiraz
The incredibly intense and vibrant fruit of the 2002 Shiraz wafts over the nose like a sweet perfurme. Opaque purple colored, its flavors offer similarly intense and ripe flavors of blueberry, blackberry and cream. Chocolate, spice, vanilla, mineral and a touch of bacon add uncommon depth to a wine of such a reasonable price. There is certainly some heat on the nose and taste but not too much. This is one of the best bargains I have ever consummed. It's laden with incredible fruit, and surprising depth and integration. I highly recommend drinking it at less than room temperature (low to mid 60°s). The alcohol is less prevalent and some extra complexity emerges. Just delicious!
Marquis Phillips- Sarah's
This wine smacks you in the face with incredibly intense, but somewhat over-the-top flavors. The ripe bosenberry and blackberry are deep, dark and immensely flavorful. The brooding underbelly of the wine then emerges, offering layers of molasses combined with smoke and cocoa. Oak, vanilla and freshly baked bread add additional complexity to the overall experience. Initially, this wine was just way too heavy and over-the-top for me. On the third day after opening, however, the wine acheived a much greater level of balance with the heavy flavors mellowing significantly, and additional nuances of mineral and licorice emerging.
Marquis Phillips- Cabernet
This wine has a very different profile than the Marquis Phillips shiraz. The ripe cassis and black cherry are still are the most prominent feature, but there is a surprising amount of mineral and tobacco right from the get go. The sweetness of the wine's maple syrup contrasts the Bordeaux-like mineral edge quite nicely. But, don't get me wrong, this wine is distinctly Australian with its boisterous and rambunctous fruit personality. Unfortunately, its raw materials don't display the same depth or grip as the shiraz.
Marquis Phillips- Merlot
Overripe aromas of raisins, prunes and maple syrup tempt you to taste, wondering what will follow. Will it be over the top and too extracted? Well, yes but not to an unenjoyable degree. The flavors mirror the nose, but with a surprising amount of contrasting dryness, taming the sweet flavors. The long, long finish showcases the juicy fruits. Not balanced or complex, just nice.
Overall, when this style is executed well it makes for a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, the Cab and Merlot just can't pull it off like the others. To enjoy these wines you must let them breath and you must serve them in the low to mid 60s.